The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet published photos that support Israel’s account of events after commandos boarded the Turkish flotilla ship Mavi Marmara.
Der Spiegel reports:
Hürriyet belongs to the media group of entrepreneur Aydin Dogan which has been critical of the government in the past. Initially, Dogan’s newspapers had criticized the Israeli raid just like Turkey’s pro-government papers. But since then they have been warning against excessive Israel bashing and against the prime minister’s increasingly authoritarian style of government.
“I am afraid,” wrote columnist Nuray Mert, “not just because emotions have supplanted reason in foreign policy but because one is immediately accused of Zionism and silenced whenever one criticizes government policy.”
Erugrul Özkök, the former editor-in-chief of Hürriyet, regards the photos as a “journalistic success” that could not be censored. “Israel damaged itself with this mission but it is also wrong of [Prime Minister] Erdogan not to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization,” he said.
Pro-government newspapers are accusing the Dogan group of playing into Israel’s hands by publishing the photos. Fehmi Koru, one of the best-known columnists close to the ruling AKP party, has a simple explanation for the approach being taken by Dogan’s paper: the media mogul is a business partner of Germany’s Axel Springer publishing group, says Koru, and Springer pursues a strategy of unquestioning solidarity with the Jewish state. Springer rejects this as absurd.
Indeed, columnist Burak Bekdil has just published this piece in Hürriyet:
Since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has unmasked all of us, there is no need to hide the connections we had successfully hidden to this day. We may have been revealed, but that should not stop us from writing more articles to please our crypto-boss, the State of Israel.
For my part, I feel obliged to provide the service for which I have been paid in advance. I may have been sold to the Israeli agents but at least I am honest enough to fulfill my commitments.
According to Mr. Erdoğan, all journalists who did not shout and yell and curse the Jewish state as he and his jihadist fellows did in the aftermath of the flotilla raid are “sub-contractors of the Israeli-controlled international media.” Sadly I fall into that category.
Since no one in the Turkish press praised Israel for killing activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, in Mr. Erdoğan’s mental calculus, anyone who deviates by an inch from his line of Israel-bashing is apparently part of a wicked, clandestine and global Zionist network. You may have condemned the raid. Not enough. You should have done as his “yellow journalists” did: Curse Israel more loudly and preferably in Mr. Erdoğan’s selection of wording, augmented typically with tags such as “barbaric,” “piracy” and “state terror.”
What could have so angered Mr. Erdoğan that he confidently resorted to conspiracy theories? It was probably the news coverage and comments that came in later days, still criticizing Israel for its action, but probably not in Mr. Erdoğan’s favorite wording, and probably also criticizing the jihadist rhetoric of the “aid activists.”
Sadly, EU candidate Turkey in the year 2010 has a prime minister who has zero tolerance for any view other than his own. See why his “yellow journalists” must get in line like behaving pupils each time they sit at their keyboards?